PhD Topic/Title: Discerning the perceptions of middle-class Pre-Career Women towards their careers and work-family balance


This research investigates how race and gender shape young women’s career decisions, expectations and experiences. The research focuses on the transition between higher education and graduate employment to understand how young women view their own positions during this pivotal, and often uncertain time. In particular, this research explores (i) how young women believe that their gender and ‘race’ has impacted, or will impact their career progression and workplace experiences; (ii) how university environments shape young women’s expectations and experiences of their working lives; (iii) the impacts of young women’s perceptions on their outlooks, decision making and feelings.

The research will be undertaken by conducting semi-structured interviews with young women in their final year of an undergraduate degree and with young women who are within three years of graduating. This research will use a case study approach of a university in the East Midlands to offer a more complete understanding of how a particular institutional context may impact the experiences of young women at university, and subsequently, how this may shape decisions that they make about their working lives.